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French stock market watchdog AMF extends EDF buyout offer after legal challenge

FILE PHOTO: The Tricastin nuclearÊpower plant site in Saint-Paul-Trois-Chateaux

PARIS (Reuters) -French markets regulator AMF said on Wednesday it had decided the French state must extend its offer to buy out minority shareholder in nuclear power group EDF pending a Paris court ruling on a legal challenge against the AMF's earlier approval of the offer.

The offer that opened on Nov. 24 was to due expire on Dec. 22. AMF said it will soon publish a new timetable for the offer.

An appeal was launched on Dec. 2 by a group of employee shareholders asking the court to cancel AMF's aproval of the offer.

France is buying out the 16% of EDF it does not already own to take the company private and have a free hand in running it as European governments seek to secure its energy supplies.

(Reporting by Dominique VidalonEditing by GV De Clercq)